Problems need innovative and creative solutions. Learn to apply entrepreneurial theory to a wide range of issues for valuable results.

At its core, entrepreneurship is about creating value by inventing things to address necessities. In this way, it is about designing something for a target group (market). But entrepreneurial intervention is fundamentally about people—who’s doing the entrepreneurship and to whom it is being done. Entrepreneurship offers students intangible growth in learning how to empathize with others, including those from very different backgrounds, to address a social issue in a flexible, adaptable and context-relevant way.

Students in this Pathway will gain an understanding of entrepreneurial theory as it applies across multiple fields of inquiry, emphasizing connections to creativity and innovation. They will gain a familiarity with past and present applications of entrepreneurial theory and develop entrepreneurial problem-solving skills that enable them to identify a problem or need, articulate a model for addressing this concern, and generate an ongoing sustainable solution. Students will also locate their problem-solving skills in the context of the communities in which they live and weigh the value of their efforts with regard to ethics and sustainability.

While students construct their own animating questions, some possible examples include:

  • How do entrepreneurial paths differ for women across various racial, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, and how do these experiences compare to men’s?
  • Can innovations in sourcing, production and recycling of retail clothing minimize the impact of a “throwaway” clothing culture in the U.S.?
  • How can the achievement gap in education be reduced through the use of technology in the U.S.?
  • How can movement practices be used to help students with learning disabilities?
  • What effect can financial literacy programs have on students in the United States across socioeconomic classes?

Thematic Inquiry

The Thematic Inquiry course provides the foundation for the Entrepreneurship Pathway. This course is a one-semester, experiential learning program designed to teach and enable student entrepreneurs to develop sustainable business models from their ideas. The program will bring together an ambitious, committed, and diverse group of individuals from all classes and majors who are passionate about developing successful solutions to challenges; identify as entrepreneurs, disruptors, and thought leaders; and have the tenacity, work ethic, and ability to succeed. This course will feel like a combination of a college class and a rigorous startup incubator program. You will develop and accurately test business assumptions, identify and research your target market, and pivot to develop a sustainable business model.

This course will also include a lab component, facilitated by a guest lecturer from reSet, a Hartford-based incubator space, or a Connecticut College professor or alumni with expertise specific to the topic of the lab. For example, alumni startup founders might speak one week about their experiences and challenges and lead a case study